tv BBC World News WHUT August 5, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> this is "gmt." the star witness in the hague tribunal, naomi campbell gives evidence in the trial of the former liberian president amidst allegations that she received diamonds that she called dirty live -- dirty looking pebbles that she did not know where they came from. >> i had never even heard of them before. i had never even heard of the term blood diamond. >> allegations mount in the niles intensify as the government of sri lanka denies political killings ahead of elections.
hello, a very well -- very warm welcome. british citizen, new york resident, and global super model naomi campbell has been giving evidence in a war crimes trial today. allegations this year received diamonds from charles taylor when they met at the home of nelson mandela. he is on trial for crimes against humanity. she said the she reserved -- that seat -- that she received dirty pebbles that she assumed came from nelson. >> there was an era of huge anticipation as we awaited her rival.
there was a delay in bringing her into the courtroom, but she did do we appear in south africa, 1997. >> naomi campbell did not want to be a witness at this trial. the prosecution had hoped that she would help to show that charles taylor received illegal diamonds from rebels in sierra leone to pay for their weapons in the 10 year-long civil war. her evidence focused on a dinner in south africa 13 years ago with charles taylor and other prominent figures connected with the nelson mandela children charity. after she had gone to sleep there was a knock on the door of room. two men handed her a pouch. >> i put it next to my bed.
>> at that time you did not look inside? >> i opened it the next morning when i woke up. >> when they came to your door, did you ask what was in the pouch? >> i simply took it, said thank you, and shot my door. >> did they say anything about why they were bringing it? >> there was no explanation. >> when she did open it? >> a few stones. they were very small, dirty looking. >> she did not know where they came from and straightaway gave them to the head of the charity. the prosecution was so disappointed with her answer is that they'd disown her as a witness. >> i was made to be here, obviously at want to get this over and get on with my life.
>> why did you not want to be here? >> i do not want anything to do with this and i care about the protection of my family. >> a celebrity witness that delivered little conclusive evidence. >> the problem for the prosecution was that there was no proof linking the diamonds, the blood diamonds that she was given, no proof that they were linked to charles taylor. it was an assumption made on her behalf after her conversation with mia farrow. in the end we got a sense of the extent to which she was a reluctant witness and that it had been a huge inconvenience for her to come here. the prosecution said that they did not regard her as a prosecution witness.
despite the fact that they had given her the subpoena. >> the prosecution's frustration was fairly clear. can you explain the relevance of this entire issue? this part of the charles taylor trial? >> it is important to remember that the man who is accused is charles taylor, the former president of liberia, sitting almost forgotten that the back of the courtroom today. sitting behind defense lawyers. he has been on trial since 2007, charged with crimes against humanity relating to the war in sierra leone. the prosecution is trying to show that he was directly linked to the rebels at the time of the war and that he supported, funded, and trade in weapons for diamonds. >> thank you, peter. in just a few minutes we will
focus on what peter is mentioning, the wider issue of blood diamonds. >> in the u.s. supporters and opponents of gay marriage are watching the latest legal twists of the could force courts to confront that issue after a federal judge ruled that the state and on gay marriage should be scrapped. the judge says that he will not require the states to enforce his decision until the appeal has been heard. the sinking of a warship has been blamed on north korea. 29 ships, 50 aircraft, 4000 personnel. 12 more people have been killed in pakistan's largest city, bringing the number of deaths over last few days, a politician
was shot dead. a rival political party was blamed and extremists may have carried out the murder. libyan demonstrators clashed with police. protesters say that the new legislation punishes people with the same severity as drug traffickers may affect business. army chiefs have been meeting to discuss government proposals from foreign troops to stabilize the country. they say that the chief of staff was not opposed to the move but there has been no official confirmation. the government said they plan to ask for a stabilization of force. 600 wildfires continue to burn in russia. 162,000 emergency workers have been deployed. the emergency ministry says they
are struggling to contain the fires. russia is suffering its worst heat wave on record. it british-made -- british newspaper says that a mystery bidder is involved in purchasing the football club, that a chinese and government fronted by a sports tycoons. liverpool is a club that is desperate for cash. it is expected that the chinese are expected to make money by making a big stadium in liverpool where the premier league football is very popular. >> thank you, peter. you are watching "gmt." getting back to our main story, naomi campbell has been giving evidence at the trial of a former liberian president, charles taylor. to discuss the wider
ramifications of the trial itself, we are joined by nino from the global with this campaign, which did so much to bring lead diamonds to the front as an international issue. what does the naomi campbell appearance do for you? >> the trial has huge significance as there is an opportunity for international justice and send a message to corrupt dictators and warlords that they will be held to account for their horrific crimes that they are committing an have committed. the issue of blood diamonds brought about by the testimony as well, as it sheds light on the fact that the issue is still a problem today in countries like zimbabwe. >> the problem remains, there is the kimberly process, that you were instrumental in bringing to the front, but is it
doing the job? >> blood diamonds are still reaching international markets. there is a government led international certification scheme to prevent blood diamonds from reaching the market. >> the worry seems to be that the idea is great, but that the will to make it work, to stop this from happening is just not there. >> it does come down to political will from governments that are members of the kimberly process to really close loopholes and crack down on misbehaving countries, making it seem meaningful. >> how do you get to that next page? >> international attention on the issue. this trial is an important component. consumer pressure is also important. we are seeing a huge amount of
bloodshed as a result of the diamond trade. governments need to take their responsibility to do good. >> the concern for you must be that with the kimberly process many people also thought that they had put something in place to change something that is still going on. very difficult to gear up on what did not worth a first timer rounds. >> there is a perception that this problem is a problem of the past and the governments are hiding behind the new process. >> what did you make of the fascinating stuff? the sort of things that draw people in to work out what is going on in this underworld. >> diamonds given to a super model in the middle of the night, the stuff of movies. i do not know how much they have
advanced, it has demonstrated the diamonds were given to her at an event where charles taylor was present. we certainly hope that this will help to clearly demonstrate the link between his actions and the horrific violence seen in sierra leone. >> you are watching "gmt." coming up in a moment, communities isolated by floods. we join the pakistan minute -- military. sylvia over a list county has had a trait -- a taste of what could be trouble to come. a no-confidence motion in the lower house of the parliament and government, not the end of the challenge to the administration either. suggestions that early elections could be on the horizon.
>> a dinner with david cameron will have been a welcome return to the day job of silvio berliscinoi. italy's constant political showman. the no-confidence vote was called after one of his ministers was accused of corruption. the speaker of the house, the newly a strange coalition partner, urged his group to abstain. the deal helped the prime minister out of a tight spot. the rebels could easily become a thorn in his side. the opposition was quick to throw down the gauntlet to the fractured government. >> it is time for elections.
we are ready to do that. he does not have the support that he was hoping that have. in my opinion the only option is to hold elections. >> the italian parliament is broken up for its august recess. with the government deeply split, new elections may not be far away. >> this is "gmt." the super model naomi campbell has told a war crimes court regarding the former liberian president that she received a pouch of dirty looking stones from him in 1997, but says that
she did not know what they were or who they were from. just days before the presidential election in rwanda the government issued a strongly worded statement denying any involvement in the killing of political opponents. comments came as the response to the bbc investigation of the government had ordered the assassinations. >> this man has helped to rebuild the country destroyed by genocide. now the president wants seven more years in power. in the run-up to this election his government has been accused of crushing opposition, even ordering the assassination of rivals, an allegation that the government fiercely denies. over the past few months there have been a series of attacks against government critics at home and abroad.
in june the former head of the army was shot in the stomach. he accused the president of ordering the shooting. six days later a journalist investigating the attack were shot dead outside his home. he claimed that he had evidence that the government was behind the attack. three weeks ago another body of an opposition politician was found almost decapitated in a southern town. the president ridicules claims that his government was involved in these attacks. >> i would never know that i had been in a government that would seem to be that stupid. there is little to gain from it.
>> he believes that his record speaks for itself. a national health system that is the envy of many african countries, just one example. children will be vaccinated for free. it is a record that has brought the president praise from many supporters in the west. >> in the years after the genocide, foreign supporters flocked here to help to rebuild the country. development first, democracy later. there is plenty of evidence of development, but finding evidence of real democracy is getting harder and harder. >> the people want critical voices. two independent newspapers have been suspended. many journalists have fled the country. >> since you are independent of it, they see you as a person who
is worth being dead. >> the president's political opponents also complained of being harassed and intimidated. >> we were beaten with clubs. i smashed my head on a brick wall. >> the government rejects these claims and says that people are allowed to speak and criticize. there's no question about the outcome of this election. the president faces no genuine opposition. the real question is if the president will allow for challengers to emerge. will the frustrations in evidence threat and the
achievements that rwanda has made so far? >> rob is with me now, those are pretty heavy allegations and stringent denial. >> serious allegations being made by some people. that the government ordered the assassination of critics and rivals. on the one hand, why would they do this? secondly, they have questioned the people making allegations, saying that these people are critical, so they would say that, with a not? if you look at them over the past 10 years, there have been a number of unsolved disappearances and murders of people critical of the government. people that do not agree are saying look, there is a pattern the needs to be looked into. i spoke to a former head of
intelligence there. saying that it was a serious accusation, that the government was attempting to destabilize the government. >> what is the mood in the country like? we are a few days away from the election. >> i covered the last election in 2003 and what is interesting is what has stayed the same. like the ruling part having huge rallies at the moment. if you step back away from those rallies you find people in the opposition who are afraid to criticize the government. i think that what these recent attacks on opposition show, what they have definitely done is
improve the position. >> briefly, they have had a lot of support and good will. they want to be anxious to not lose that. >> they do get a significant amount of foreign donors. there is a sense of increasing concern internationally. because of the fact that space for opposition groups is limited and has not increased much in the past seven years. >> thank you very much for coming. but after killing more than 6000 people in the past week, floodwaters are sweeping large areas of central and southern pakistan. continuing monsoon rains have caused chaos where thousands more people have had to leave their homes. our correspondent has been given
exclusive access to air force relief missions in northern pakistan. >> it is only from above the two can really see the scale of the crisis. the damage is still being assessed. the floodwaters are now moving relentlessly downstream, threatening new areas with destruction. we flew above the clouds in a military transport. a beautiful spot turned it disasters town where 10,000 people have been left homeless. we are now climbing to 22,000 feet. the crew calls this an emotional journey. they say that the level of motivation is very high. they want to get to help in and the people out. crews are flying against their
normal hours to make the number of journeys they need. here is the precious cargo. supplied with flour, sugar, and other foodstuffs. take a look outside of the airport. a desperate crash. many have been trapped here by the floods and flying is the only way out. for the pilot that flew the airplane in it is a distressing time. >> it gives them a sad feeling, that is not possible to help all of them. >> we found a letter produced referring for tests to the hospital. we arranged a seat on the
airplane for him but he was not strong enough to battle through the crowd. there will be other flights year in many areas affected by the floods where people are running out of patience. >> files released in britain reveal the government response to thousands of ufo sightings in the 1950's, showing that the government even held meetings with senior intelligence experts. >> if the truth about ufos are really out there, the clauses that we can get is here. the result of government investigation into hundreds of sightings made public for the first time. why were these fighter planes not scrambled to investigate this? filmed in 1996, this match is a strange blitz from an air traffic control radar.
the blimp was just a prominent echo. we now know that in 1957 discussed how the official position change rapidly after the cold war. >> massive amounts of public interest with declining military interest and aircraft that are no longer scrambled to investigate things. >> over the next year they will release more documents about ufo's for the national archives. some of the most interesting are yet to come. we will find out if they believe that they actually exist. >> a spooky way to find out
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